The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship (福岡国際マラソン, Fukuoka Kokusai Marason) is an IAAF Gold Label international men's marathon race held in Fukuoka, Japan since 1947. It is usually held on the first Sunday in December.
The Fukuoka Marathon monument at Hakata Station with footprints of past winners
|Course records||2:05:18 (2009)|
|Official site||Fukuoka Marathon|
In its early years, the race had a rotating venue format, but these races are contained within the Fukuoka history as they all shared a common organiser and sponsor (the Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese national newspaper). The inaugural edition was launched in 1947 as the "Kanaguri Prize Asahi Marathon" (金栗賞朝日マラソン, Kanaguri-Shō Asahi Marason) and was held in Kumamoto. The 1951 was the first of the race series to be held in Fukuoka. Foreign runners were invited for the first time in 1954 and Reinaldo Gorno of Argentina subsequently became the first non-Japanese winner. The competition was renamed as the "Asahi International Marathon" (朝日国際マラソン, Asahi Kokusai Marason) the following year and Finland's Veikko Karvonen became the first European victor. In 1956 the race reverted to a national race between Japanese men, but foreign runners were reintroduced for later editions.
The 1959 edition saw Fukuoka instated was the permanent host city for the marathon race and Japanese runner Kurao Hiroshima became the first two-time winner that year. Water stations for runners were introduced along the course for the first time in 1961. The last race to be held outside of Fukuoka came in 1963, when a special pre-Olympic edition was held in Tokyo as a way of testing the marathon course for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Recognising the Fukuoka Marathon's increasingly international nature, the event was renamed in 1966 to the "International Marathon Championship" (国際マラソン選手権, Kokusai Marason Senshuken). A year later, the course saw its first world record performance as Australian Derek Clayton knocked over two minutes off the previous record to win the race in 2:09:36.4 hours. Frank Shorter had three straight wins in 1971 to 1973 and a fourth win came in 1974, the same year that the race took on its current title of the "Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship" (福岡国際マラソン選手権, Fukuoka Kokusai Marason Senshuken).
In 1980, Toshihiko Seko won in a time of 2:09:45 hours, just four seconds ahead of Takeshi So. This represented the first time that two men had completed the marathon distance under two hours and ten minutes at the same competition. The second world record of the competition's history came in 1981 and it was again an Australian runner, this time Robert de Castella, whose time of 2:08:18 hours became the new world standard.
The Fukuoka Marathon is the third-longest running competition of its type in Japan, being established two years after the Lake Biwa Marathon and one year after the Kochi Marathon. This makes it the tenth longest running annual marathon race in recorded history. The competition has hosted the men's marathon championship race numerous times: it first held the event in 1955 and then hosted the race on a biennial basis from 1963 to 1997. It now hosts the national championship race once every three years, on a rotational basis alongside the Lake Biwa and Tokyo Marathons.
Male runners who have achieved the following times in an official event of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) or a race for members of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) in a certain period, and who are aged 19 years or older on the day of the race can apply for the race.
- Marathon: under 2 hours 27 minutes
- 30 km road race: under 1 hour 35 minutes
- Half-marathon: under 1 hour 05 minutes
- Marathon: under 2 hours 35 minutes
- 30 km road race: under 1 hour 45 minutes
- Half-marathon: under 1 hour 10 minutes
- Course record
- Japanese championship race
|73||2019.12.01||El Mahjoub Dazza||Morocco||2:07:10|
|71||2017.12.03||Sondre Nordstad Moen||Norway||2:05:48|
|54||2000.12.03||Atsushi Fujita||Japan||2:06:51 NR|
|51||1997.12.07||Josia Thugwane||South Africa||2:07:28|
|50||1996.12.01||Lee Bong-ju||South Korea||2:10:48|
|45||1991.12.01||Shuichi Morita||Japan||2:10:58||Current course layout introduced|
|39||1985.12.01||Hisatoshi Shintaku||Japan||2:09:51||Course layout changed|
|36||1982.12.05||Paul Ballinger||New Zealand||2:10:15|
|35||1981.12.06||Robert de Castella||Australia||2:08:18 WR|
|31||1977.12.04||Bill Rodgers||United States||2:10:56|
|28||1974.12.08||Frank Shorter||United States||2:11:32|
|27||1973.12.02||Frank Shorter||United States||2:11:45|
|26||1972.12.03||Frank Shorter||United States||2:10:30|
|25||1971.12.05||Frank Shorter||United States||2:12:51|
|21||1967.12.03||Derek Clayton||Australia||2:09:37 WR|
|20||1966.11.27||Mike Ryan||New Zealand||2:14:05|
|17||1963.10.15||Jeff Julian||New Zealand||2:18:01||Held in Tokyo|
|15||1961.12.03||Pavel Kantorek||Czech Republic||2:22:05|
|14||1960.12.04||Barry Magee||New Zealand||2:19:04|
|13||1959.11.08||Kurao Hiroshima||Japan||2:29:34||Fukuoka becomes permanent host|
|12||1958.12.07||Nobuyoshi Sadanaga||Japan||2:24:01||Held in Utsunomiya|
|11||1957.12.01||Kurao Hiroshima||Japan||2:21:40||Held in Fukuoka City|
|10||1956.12.09||Keizo Yamada||Japan||2:25:15||Held in Nagoya|||
|9||1955.12.11||Veikko Karvonen||Finland||2:23:16||Held in Fukuoka/Koga|||
|8||1954.12.05||Reinaldo Gorno||Argentina||2:24:55||Held in Kamakura/Yokohama|||
|7||1953.12.06||Hideo Hamamura||Japan||2:27:26||Held in Nagoya|||
|6||1952.12.07||Katsuo Nishida||Japan||2:27:59||Held in Ube|||
|5||1951.12.09||Hiromi Haigo||Japan||2:30:13||Held in Fukuoka/Maebaru|||
|4||1950.12.10||Shunji Koyanagi||Japan||2:30:47||Held in Hiroshima|||
|3||1949.12.04||Shinzo Koga||Japan||2:40:26||Held in Shizuoka|||
|2||1948.12.05||Saburo Yamada||Japan||2:37:25||Held in Takamatsu|||
|1||1947.12.07||Toshikazu Wada||Japan||2:45:45||Held in Kumamoto|||
- Nakamura, Ken (2009-12-06). 2:05:18 course record and personal best for Kebede in Fukuoka. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-12-06.
- Nakamura, Ken (2010). Marathon - A history of the Fukuoka International Marathon Championships by K. Ken Nakamura - Part 1 1947-1966. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- Butler, Mark (2011). 13th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook Archived 2012-08-18 at the Wayback Machine (pgs. 595, 612, 614–615, 705, 707). Daegu 2011. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- Heyworth, Malcolm et al (2010-12-05). Fukuoka Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- World Marathon Rankings for 1980. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- Longest Running Marathons. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- Ota, Shigenobu et al (2010-03-27). National Marathon Champions for Japan. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- Nakamura, Ken (2011-11-04). Running in his debut, Ndambiri triumphs in Fukuoka. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- List of winners
- Fukuoka-Marathon.com - Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship (official site, English language portal)
- 'A history of the Fukuoka International Marathon Championships' by K. Ken Nakamura (IAAF)
- Asahi.com - Fukuoka Marathon sponsor page
- MarathonInfo profile